When your child is admitted to the hospital it is often not possible for your child’s primary care physician to provide in-patient care. Pediatric hospitalists bridge the gap between in-patient and out-patient care. A hospitalist program allows the continuous medical needs of your child and your family to be met by providing oversight of the in-patient hospital care your child requires. This care begins in the nursery or emergency department and extends through discharge. All inpatient evaluations and services are coordinated by the hospitalist and direct communication is provided to you from the hospitalist on an ongoing daily basis.
Pediatric hospitalist programs are based on voluntary referrals and allow all qualified primary or specialty care physicians to manage their own patients. Children who do not have an assigned physician are cared for by the hospitalist service as are children whose primary care physician has requested the pediatric hospitalist provide in-patient services. The focus of a hospitalist program is to identify and respond to the needs of the community, the family and the child.
The benefits of a hospitalist program include the availability of timely care that is designed to meet the needs of your child. In addition, data collection and outcome-assessment capabilities are integrated into the program to monitor performance and encourage best outcome practices.
Communication with a child’s primary care physician and any other specialists involved in the care of a child is fundamental to the success of a pediatric hospitalist program. This allows for all necessary out-patient services to be identified and coordinated. This allows for a shortening of in-patient care and prevents post-discharge problems from arising. By maintaining close contact with your child’s physician readmission rates decrease and outcome measures improve.
Other benefits of hospitalist programs are quality improvement and teaching. Quality initiatives can be identified and pursued. For teaching hospitals high quality outcomes can be integrated into patient care and taught to residents training in pediatrics. Additional benefits include reduced length of stay, decreased overall hospitalization costs and improved patient and family satisfaction.
The goal of pediatric hospitalist care is to provide in-patient care by competent and compassionate board certified pediatricians who are available to provide continuous and consistent care for all children who do not have an admitting primary care physician. Throughout the admission coordination with a child’s primary care physician is initiated and maintained through timely and complete interim reports and early discharge planning communication.